Does the government and the BBC actually believe that English = white?
I’m serious. As I read this on the road today (passenger, not driver), it did rather blow my mind.
An inquiry into the “widespread perception” that immigrants are jumping housing queues is to be launched by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
Its head, Trevor Phillips, said the belief migrants were gaining “unfair advantages” was fuelling tensions.
And the question of “whether the housing system is being abused to the detriment of anyone – including white families” had to be finally settled.
In a speech in Birmingham, Mr Phillips said people were “realistic” about migration and accepted they had to share services such as schools and hospitals with new arrivals.
But he added: “What, however, does drive tension and hostility is a widespread public perception, that new migrants too often get an unfair advantages to which they are not entitled.
“And one area where this idea of unfairness is most frequently alleged – is in housing allocation.
“Specifically that white families are cheated out of their right to social housing by newly arrived migrants.”
At no point in their story does the BBC indicate that they, at least, understand that “English” does not equal “white”; that migrants can also be “white”; or that residents and citizens can also not be “white”. They do offer this:
He said there was “no reliable evidence to back up this claim” and public feeling was “driven by careless media and racist parties”.
He must be referring to (a) people who give speeches equating citizenship in the UK with being “white”, and/or (b) media organisations who reproduce such speeches with no insertion of common sense. Right?
Perhaps the rest of us just get to let our hair down, while the Tories rattle the chains of Enoch Powell. All things being relative, and so forth. I look forward to a resurgence in the socially-acceptable racism of newspaper articles about Gypsies, in the coming months.